All our U.S. readers look away as there’s no chance
that this high-performance hatchback from Audi’s quattro division is going to be arriving in local showrooms anytime soon.
Readers elsewhere get excited as these latest spy shots confirm that a new Audi RS1 is in the works, a car that could be on sale by the middle of next year.
Yes, you read that correctly. This isn’t a prototype for the tamer Audi S1 that we saw earlier
but in fact a new RS1.
Looking almost identical to the hyper-aggressive A1 clubsport quattro Concept
that we saw earlier this year, the new prototype features oversized air intakes up front, chunky side skirts, an aggressive rear wing, and huge exhausts jutting out of an integrated rear diffuser.
Unlike the concept, however, the prototype is likely to be running a regular 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, possibly the same unit found in the Volkswagen Golf R and with peak output pegged at around 250 horsepower.
In addition to the potent powerplant, expect a series of weight saving modifications and a standard quattro all-wheel drive system. A six-speed manual is also likely to be standard, though a seven-speed S tronic dual clutch unit may be offered as an option.
In a previous interview
Audi design chief Stefan Sielaff said the A1 clubsport quattro Concept was already been called the “RS1” within Audi and that the A1's engine bay was spacious enough to fit the five-cylinder engine without any modification.
Look for a debut of the new Audi RS1 in production trim at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next March.